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Would you have known? Only 75% of people wash their hands after going to the toilet. Bacteria can survive for up to three hours on the palms of their hands. Plenty of time, then, to multiply by division and found dynasties on door handles, light switches, displays or stair railings. 😳
So let's be honest: How strict are we about washing our hands? How often and when do we scrub our patches? And why is it so important to wash our hands regularly?
With Trelino® we offer the smallest room after whose visit the hand washing or the cleaning of the palms should take place in principle. For this reason, on International Hand Washing Day, we are dedicating ourselves entirely to the theme of hand hygiene.
If you want to know how our little loo works, what a composting toilet is and how to use it, feel free to check out our composting toilet guide.
We celebrate the International Hand Washing Day!
International Washing Day was created to raise awareness about the importance of hand hygiene. It was established by WHO and is held annually on October 15. What is a small act for a person can be a big one for humanity. It reminds us how critical regular hand washing is to preventing disease and promoting a healthy community.
Why washing hands after going to the restroom is so important
Hand washing seems like an everyday, almost insignificant gesture. In fact, it is one of the most effective ways to maintain our health. Our hands are constantly in contact with surfaces, people and objects. Most of these touch points are teeming with germs and pathogens. Thus, washing our hands after going to the bathroom is not only a social norm, but more importantly, a protective shield for us and those around us.
When we wash our hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom, we remove visible dirt as well as invisible hazards. Pathogens such as viruses and bacteria that make themselves at home on our hands easily end up on food or door handles and can thus be transmitted to other people. Washing hands breaks this chain of infection and is therefore one of the most important measures for preventing illness.
In times of increased health awareness, the importance of hand washing is becoming more and more in focus. It is one of the simplest yet most effective ways to protect yourself and others.
Reasons for washing hands after going to the toilet
- Disease prevention: with just about every touch, our hands come into contact with germs. Some of them are beneficial, others are harmful to our health. From lapping at the toilet lid to using toilet paper to flushing, there is a risk of carrying viruses, bacteria, and parasites from the restroom into our lives. Washing hands after using the restroom prevents bringing and passing on these little pathogens.
- Community health: washing hands is not only important for our own health, but also for the health of others. Washing our hands thoroughly after using the toilet helps minimize the spread of infections to family, friends, or public areas.
- Food safety: hand washing is critical when it comes to food preparation. If we touch food with unwashed hands, pathogens can be transferred to food. At worst, contamination with bacteria such as Campylobacter or EHEC can cause severe vomiting diarrhea.
- Reducing germ transmission: Handwashing not only removes pathogens, but also reduces the likelihood that germs will be transferred to objects and surfaces that other people touch. Door handles, stair railings, stop wish buttons and other public surfaces are common carriers of germs. Clean hands help break these chains of infection.
- Self-protection: washing hands not only protects others from potentially harmful germs, but also protects ourselves. By preventing us from transferring germs from our hands to our mouth, nose or eyes, we reduce the risk of getting sick ourselves.
Side fact: Did you know that we touch our faces consciously or unconsciously about 400 to 800 times a day? Well, where were your hands just now and what did they touch before? 😜
Hand washing - tips for on the road
Especially on the road, access to a sink with running water and soap is often not always available. However, even in these situations, good hand hygiene is important. Here are a few tips on how to keep your hands fresh even on the road.
- Hand sanitizer: Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol content can be an effective alternative to washing hands with soap and water when they are not available.
- Cleansing Wipes: Wet wipes or cleansing wipes are handy to quickly clean your hands on the go. It's best to choose antibacterial wipes.
- Tissues: If you don't have wipes on hand, tissues can also help clean your hands, at least roughly.
- Portable soap dispensers: There are portable soap dispensers designed specifically for travel. These provide a convenient way to wash hands with soap while traveling.
- Awareness of hygiene measures: Be aware of hygiene measures in public places such as airports, train stations and restaurants. Use disposable towels or your own paper towels to touch door handles and faucets.
Sustainability and hand washing
Environmental awareness and sustainability also play a role in hand washing. The choice of soap or the way hands are dried can make a significant difference in this regard.
- Environmentally friendly soaps: Biodegradable soaps that do not contain harmful chemicals protect the environment and the water cycle.
- Economical use of water: Washing hands often invites waste of water. But it is not necessary to leave the faucet running all the time. A shower before soaping up and a rinse afterwards are perfectly sufficient. In between: Simply switch off.
- Sustainable hand drying: Paper towels and electric hand dryers have advantages and disadvantages. Recycled paper towels are more hygienic than cloth towels, but produce immense waste. In this respect, it is recommended to use paper towels made from recycled paper. Cloth towels do not enter the throwaway cycle, but must be washed regularly. This consumes water and energy. Hand dryers are hygienic but consume electricity. Here, it pays to look for energy-efficient products.
- Avoiding disposable products: Soap dispensers can generate a significant amount of waste. Environmentally friendly refill packs help reduce this mountain of waste.
The sustainability of hand washing and related habits should not be underestimated. Every small adjustment in our hand hygiene routine can help conserve precious resources and reduce our environmental footprint.
How to know: Our guide to International Handwashing Day
International Handwashing Day is an occasion for celebration, learning and action. A day to refresh your knowledge, take it out into the world and pass it on. To celebrate the day, we've put together an in-depth guide on handwashing that you can download here.
This guide is not only about hand washing after going to the toilet, we explore with you the world of microbe, bacteria and co., give you tips on hand washing techniques, take a close look at soap and disinfection and offer you a lot of reading material that will make the next session on your Trelino® super entertaining. 🙂By the way...
Most microbes do not live on the toilet seat, but in the kitchen. Whereas the sink has 30,000 germs per square centimeter, the toilet seat has just 300. The little inhabitants feel most at home in sponges and dishcloths. Sometimes millions of these uninvited guests can be found there. 🦠